One Hundred Years, "We" Past and Present

Friedman, Sam

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23301

A review of Steve Bloom's epic poem about the Russian Revolution.



Steve Bloom's excellent and highly-readable One Hundred Years tells the story of the Russian Revolution and its degeneration in the classical form of epic poetry....

His main character, the revolutionary people, is framed as a "We" that acts as narrator, commentator and poetic voice. This "We" tells the epic of misery, struggle, partial victory, thinking through the need for soviet power, more struggle, more complete victory, mistakes, degeneration and counterrevolution in simple but poetic language.

Making "We" the speaker works within while partially inverting the conventions of the classic chorus of Greek tragedy. Contrasting with the background mockery that some Greek dramatists made of it, and the semi-wise voicers of what Gramsci would call "common sense" that was another role of the chorus, in Steve's poem the chorus becomes the hero/narrator that makes the Revolution.

This method empowers this poem and artistically embodies the fundamental truth of revolution - that the people speak, think, decide and act.
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